When there is resentment, there is blame. When we blame, we have made ourselves the victim. ~Michael C. Rann & Elizabeth Rann Arrott, Shortcut to a Miracle

I am my vision, how I choose to see myself and others.

Namaste’ Fellow Travelers,

In Tara Westover’s book, Educated, she shares her experience of growing up in an extremely isolated Mormon home in rural Utah where she was home-schooled by her disturbingly paranoid parents. Her older brother educated himself and encouraged her to defy her parents wishes and go to college as well. There she gradually started seeing things differently. To illustrate how limited her worldview had been, she was unaware of the Holocaust until she learned about it during a history class discussion. With each semester, she expanded her knowledge, thus shifting from being enslaved to her upbringing to creating a life that was open to learning and acceptance. She could not un-see the truth once her mind was open to it. This process created a separation between her and her family who were unable to accept her growth.

When my short-term marriage ended abruptly, my inclination was to seek comfort by finding someone who would treat me better. The problem with that strategy is I would have chosen the same person all over again – new face and different name, but essentially the same person because I would not have changed what I thought I needed or deserved. Overtly, I would be looking for someone who fit what might look like a fairly healthy criteria, but once I found an individual who triggered the same urges that attracted me to the man who rejected me, I would unknowingly repeat my old behavior. To some degree, everyone faces the choice between blindly accepting what we were raised to believe or taking an honest assessment of its validity. When I looked at what I grew up believing about relationships, those ideas did not empower or enable me to thrive.

Of course, I initially got some satisfaction in telling others how wronged I had been by my jerk of a husband. Yet, I soon realized while his actions were abominable, no one had forced me to marry him. Plus, assuming it was all his fault gave him all of the power in the situation. Because I did not want to enter into another failed relationship, I accepted the truth that ultimately I am the one who determines the health of my encounters. In short, I had to own my part in this dysfunctional situation, or I was destined to repeat it. I had to explore my own unhealthy beliefs as key factors that brought us together. This was humbling, yet also liberating at the same time. Only through being totally honest with myself was I able to let go of the compulsion that had propelled me to marry him.

After further examining my part, I concluded I had to quit looking for Mr. Right and instead accept myself as my own Ms. Right. I had to learn how to love myself. It has been years since I went through that experience, yet I am still working on truly loving and caring for myself. At times I struggle with the idea that it is okay to believe I am the most important person in my world. Accepting the key role in meeting my own emotional needs of acceptance and love has been challenging yet hugely rewarding. Owning my part has been key to shifting from feeling powerless to claiming my personal power. This transformation entails shifting from seeing myself as victimized by my culture, family, and fear of inadequacy to embracing my own personal power. This compelling version of me is free to step away from my old beliefs and create my life anew based on the wisdom and guidance that I hold within me. My Divine-Mind is always willing and ready to guide me if I simply allow it.  

Because the beliefs of my childhood are so deeply engrained, I continue to examine the antiquated ideas that occasional crop up in ongoing problem areas or in arenas I have not explored. This ongoing self-examination, allows me to continue to grow in my awareness of how I am creating my world either as a victim or a creator. Actively accepting my responsibility in this process, I find the strength I need to stay in creator mode.  

While experiencing my short-term marriage was painful, the resulting lessons have been invaluable. My life has changed dramatically as I now realize how deeply embedded I was in my own dysfunction and what a gift this different way of relating to myself and others has been. Currently, I feel good about my life because I see myself as a creator rather than a victim. By taking care of myself, I set a model for others, especially my family members and friends. Plus, I am able to be there for them when they need me since I have taken my own health and welfare seriously.

Journal Questions: By examining what feel like failed relationships, what new understanding can you see about yourself? How have beliefs about yourself attracted you to relationships destined to fail or at least feel unsatisfying? What control do you hold in your relationships and what is outside your control? When and how do you step outside your control and meet with frustration? What impact does that have on your relationship with yourself and others?

Affirmation: What is your positive take-away from today’s writing? Example: I am in complete alignment with myself and others.

Soul Letter: Review your journal entry and your affirmation then write a letter from your soul to you reflecting on both. Address the letter with a term of endearment because that is how your soul sees you. Then allow the love that your soul has for you to pour out onto the page.

Buen Camino, Pat

There is a subtle atmosphere around which, unperceived by us, is silently attracting people to us or repelling them from us. ~Ernest Holmes